Dear Mr. Cleanslate,
You will recall the insurance policies I took out dated January 1st, 18[a tear has blurred the rest of the date]. I knew starting off the new year with all my business affairs brought up to date would be a good idea. I’m afraid yesterday I was hit with a double catastrophe; the White Rabbit Restaurant and Gallery (policy #457ac by my records) was the victim of a chimney fire, perhaps helped by the large amount of pancakes I had made the day before for the Great Babbage Pancake Race. I was sitting on the patio with Mr Mornington when we thought we smelled smoke. Walking down to the kitchen to investigate, I was overcome with smoke and flames erupting from the cookstove! The fire must have travelled thru the chimneypipe up to the second floor, for by the time I could run out and up the stairs, the dining room was also in flames. Fearing for my very life, I ran back outside to the patio, I’m afraid fanning the flames a bit more by opening the patio doors wide. Mr Mornington had hailed the New Babbage Fire Brigade, and indeed Miss Queer Hermit arrived very rapidly, smartly dressed in a fine wine colored evening gown (I do not believe she intends to charge you with the ruin of the gown). Alas, her brave efforts were not able to save the restaurant, as rather alarmingly there was a very large explosion, no doubt the crates of rum I was storing in the kitchen having exploded from the extreme heat. This letter is to inform you that the fire has completely destroyed the building (I would suspect foul play but Doc O seems to be abroad, so I can think of no other cause for a stone building to rapidly burn to the basement).
In a second stroke of extreme misfortune, I soon found that the blast from the restaurant had rocked the Palaeozoic Museum of New Babbage (policy # 8874c) and when I went to investigate found it swaying in the breeze. With the disturbance of a passing bird, the entire building collapsed in front of my very eyes! There are, in fact, several witnesses who saw the whole thing and will attest to the instability caused to such a fragile structure by such a massive blast.
As both of the buildings have been entirely destroyed, I await a checque from the Cleanslate Insurance Co. in the full amount insured. I do not plan on rebuilding the restaurant with the proceeds, but instead will relocate the museum to a grander style and at the same location in Clockhaven where the restaurant once stood. Therefore, the funds your company has promised are eagerly awaited so that new construction may begin.
With kind regards,
Mme. Elleon Bergamasco